As newlyweds, we thought we had all the keys to a successful marriage…until we had our first fight.
Can you say dumpster fire?
When it happened, I locked myself in our bedroom. I was never coming out. And he, certainly, was never coming in. Unfortunately, we lived in a 600 sq. ft. condo, so that didn’t last long.
I not only had to let my husband into the bedroom, but I also had to let him into my life. The problem was I had serious trust issues. And neither of us was good at handling conflict.
I would run away, pout, cry, and ruminate for days. He would push harder, not listen, and make decisions without talking to me first. And we were both pros at the silent treatment. Yeah, that really worked.
We were functioning the best we knew how, but over time, we realized that wasn’t good enough. We thought that since we were Christians, we would automatically know the qualities of a healthy marriage and act on them.
I laugh now. We had a lot to learn. Humility for starters…
Eventually, we got busy and learned how to have a good marriage. We just celebrated 28 years together. By God’s grace, we now facilitate a marriage group at our church. We have truly come a long way!
In fact, these 15 biblical keys to a successful marriage are tips we have learned from our marriage group workbook, counseling, books, podcasts, and, painfully, through trial and error.
I highly recommend these biblical marriage principles. They will help you bond as a couple and weather the storms when they hit. Believe me, if you haven’t had a locked-in-the-bedroom moment yet, you probably will.
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15 Biblical Keys to a Successful Marriage
Check out these 15 keys to a successful marriage so you will have a good married life. This isn’t just advice for newlyweds, these words of wisdom are also good marriage tips for any couple no matter how many years you have been wed.
- Communication– make time to talk to each other daily. If you have kids, train them to play quietly for about 30 minutes, so you can catch up. Give consequences if they keep interrupting; it’s that important! You need to hear what is going on in each other’s lives and with the kids.
- Forgiveness-let go easily of offenses. Holding grudges or revenge will eat away at your relationship. Habitual patterns that are destructive need to be addressed with a professional, however, forgiveness is still the answer in the end. This is one of the best keys to a successful marriage in my opinion.
- Sexual intimacy-make love regularly. Sexual intimacy is the thermometer of the relationship. If you aren’t engaged with each other, something is probably wrong outside the bedroom. Address it before temptation causes one of you to stumble.
- Humility-be quick to admit when you are wrong. There is nothing worse than living with someone who is prideful. Arrogance stunts growth as a spouse and as a Christian. Furthermore, God hates pride (Prov. 8:13). This is one of the best keys to a successful marriage.
- Loyalty-don’t give your spouse any reason to distrust you. Texting/messaging a person of the opposite sex, FB friends with an old flame, deep conversations, or even meals with the opposite sex are not appropriate. This will only open the door and invite trouble into your marriage.
- Faith-marry someone who loves Jesus and is growing as a believer. The Bible talks about not being unequally yoked ( 2 Cor. 6:14). When you have different beliefs, you tend to pull against each other instead of working in the same direction.
- Romance-go on a date night every week. If you can’t leave, do something at home together after the kids go to bed. Play a game, have a picnic outside or on the floor, make a romantic dinner with candles, etc. Take time to rekindle those feelings you had when you were dating.
- Encouragement-be quick to praise your spouse publically and privately. If you encourage and cheer your spouse, they will continue to do more good than bad. A critical spirit will destroy a marriage in no time, so hold your tongue.
- Security-wives, in particular, need security. (This is one of the best marriage tips for a husband.) Live in a safe space, save for the future, and make a budget so you both know where you are financially and don’t run out of money.
- Respect-husbands, particularly, crave respect as the leader of the home. (This is one of the best marriage tips for a wife.) Additionally, if you want your marriage to thrive both of you need to have good boundaries and respect each other.
- Personal growth-continue to grow as a person. Read books about marriage, take a marriage course at church, listen to podcasts together, and go worship together at your local church.
- Patience-your spouse isn’t perfect. Give lots of grace, so that it will flow freely back to you. Be understanding. Allow for differences and preferences. This is one of the best keys to a successful marriage you can both do.
- Love-the greatest thing you can do is love your spouse. Read 1 Corinthians 13 so you understand what all this entails. These other tips will all be included if you truly love with all your heart and are willing to die to yourself every day. This is one of the best keys to a successful marriage.
- Kindness-your tone of voice and your non-verbals matter. How you say something is important. No one wants to be around a sarcastic, snappy, irritable, or rude person. Treat your spouse like you treat your friends. This is the one thing I hear from women. They just want their husband to be nice to them.
- Prayer-pray for your spouse every day. Pray for their job, their health, their role in the family, their struggles, etc. If you are frustrated with your spouse, pray for God to work on them to change. This is one of the greatest keys to a successful marriage.
These 15 qualities of a healthy marriage can also be made into a healthy marriage checklist. I suggest you refer to these marriage tips every so often so that you don’t get too far off track with your spouse.
If you want to stay together, strengthening your relationship skills is one of the best things you can do to have a successful marriage.
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What Makes a Strong Marriage?
So, what keeps a marriage together? Along with these 15 biblical keys to a successful marriage, I suggest you attend a Bible study for married couples such as a Sunday School class on Sunday morning or a Bible study group during the week.
As a couple, it is important to have accountability. If you are struggling and not there for a month or two, a good class with caring members will check up on you. This can be a good stop-gap measure before you go off the rails. Of course, if you don’t open up, no one can help.
It is important to be vulnerable and do life honestly with a few trusted Christian couples who are willing to speak truth along with grace.
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What About Happiness In Marriage?
Gary Thoma has a book titled Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? When I first encountered this book, I was a little angry. I was under the impression that my spouse was supposed to make me happy.
Over the years, I have learned that marriage is a reflection of our relationship with Jesus. Jesus is the husband and we are the bride of Christ. The bride of Christ is constantly in need of refinement until He comes back. He is working on the church to reflect Him.
Just like the spiritual bride of Christ, we as spouses need refinement too. Yes, marriage does bring happiness, but holiness is the first objective. If you want a successful marriage, work on your character. This will make everyone happy.
By the way, leave your spouse to God. He can refine just fine without you involved.
I hope these 15 Biblical keys to a successful marriage will be a helpful guide for you and your spouse as you do life together. My prayer is that you will put God first in your marriage so that you grow together toward Him in a loving way.
Do you agree with these keys to a successful marriage? What do you suggest? Comment below.
Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!
Are you experiencing family problems or have a family estrangement? Do you feel shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.
This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement (and reconciliation) from my Christian family but also gives solid tips to help you with your family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.
Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids. It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.
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Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to freely talk about parenting, marriage, faith, family, and culture. Being a Christian is hard! Let’s do it together. Most of all, a sense of humor is required. Got memes? Bring it on!
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